By Kelly Manthey, Group Chief Executive, Kin + Carta
As the pandemic redefined society, businesses and the world at large, it has also ushered in a new era of sustainable digital transformation and resiliency, according to a new report from Kin + Carta (KTC). The annual report finds as 2020 reimagined the future, 2021 will see nine themes across how we interact, how we problem solve, and how businesses engage customers.
The 2021 Change Report is the fifth annual report from Kin + Carta’s global network of technologists, strategists, and creatives. It is a snapshot of how the world is changing, what this means for business leaders, and how with change there is always an opportunity to be capitalized on for the good of people, profit and planet.
While everyone talks about the unprecedented change in our world, Kin + Carta believes that it's critical to look beyond the headlines to understand the compelling forces driving those changes. The global business ecosystem is experiencing much more than just a shift in trends. The 2021 Change Report breaks down the complexities that will impact business and humanity for years to come, while presenting actionable ways business leaders can reshape their current realities and reimagine their future.
Kin + Carta’s 2021 Change report found the pandemic brought progress alongside its failures. It shed light on what is most important to people, it sped up innovation, and forced huge technological advancements. The forces of change that businesses have to navigate as a result are permanent, consequential, and constantly moving forward. The annual report covers nine themes across three major categories: how we interact, how we problem solve, and how businesses engage customers:
- Investing in tomorrow's workplace: The lockdown accelerated our need to rethink and redesign the way we work and the way our workplaces are built: from offices and warehouses to even cars. What will the workspace of the future look like in the next 5 years?
- The turn of the MACH: Companies have been migrating to the cloud for some time now, but not everyone is seeing the benefits. The upcoming years will be led by a mindset shift towards software as a service, with innovation led by internal teams instead of solely by vendors.
- The great inclusion: bridging the digital divide: The pandemic shed light on the limitations in digital experiences for underrepresented groups, and their repercussions for our communities and our environment. As a result, inclusive design and sustainable development have become a standard, and businesses have an opportunity to lead by becoming an example and by helping bridge the digital divide.
- When physical met digital: Shopping experiences are shapeshifting and the line between physical and digital is becoming blurrier as companies adopt new technologies to build seamless, interactive and personalized commerce platforms for their customers.
- Contactless economy: As people keep a safe distance, suddenly stopped using cash, for fear that it will spread COVID-19, contactless payment has gone from convenience to necessity overnight. What new technologies are being enabled as a result of this cultural change and how will this look like for businesses and consumers?
- Data democratization: Digitally mature companies understand data as a service and a knowledge asset that must be accessed, analyzed and reported by everyone who has a need for information. What will this look like for companies that decide to embrace a democratized data marketplace?
- The agile evolution: As supply chains, commercial strategies and entire business models face unprecedented challenges, companies are opening their doors to flexible, resilient and innovative processes, channels and partnerships to keep their head above the water.
- Hyperconnected humanity: Connectivity is vital to a future managed and shaped by smart hardware and 5G is pushing the boundary in terms of speed to allow for new ways of using IoT. What will these new device use cases look like? What repercussion will this have on our privacy as our data becomes more and more accessible to any service provider?
- Sustainability and the digital do-gooders: We live in a world in which a new doctrine of Corporate Digital Responsibility has the potential to change the way we do business for the better. The people demand it for the sake of equality and quality of life. How seriously brands take that responsibility is transforming their relationships with people and, as a result, altering their impact on an ever-changing world.
Since 2016, Kin + Carta has put out an annual trends report identifying changes in the world and their impact on the enterprise. Armed with this rich new data from Kin + Carta, businesses will now be able to rethink how they interact with each other, how they reach solutions to complicated problems and how they acquire new customers.